Ayman Al-Zawahiri and Biden’s desperate need for foreign policy success

The killing of the al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri it cannot be considered a surprise scene. The leader of the group had already fallen for many years, in addition to the news that confirmed his poor health. For years now, al-Qaeda has not been the main protagonist of the terrorist scene, especially after the strong affirmation of ISIS with the strong appeal that the organization has exercised on young jihadists.

The death of Al-Zawahiri cannot change much in the short term: if we are to take the death of Hamza Bin Laden, son of Osama Bin Laden as a point of comparison, it can be seen strategically as a much more efficient and tactical step that has damaged the ‘to emerge of a new generation of al-Qaeda. However, this murder helps the current American administration more than anyone else, strategically, they insisted on linking this assassination to the national security of the United States and to the role played by Al-Zawahiri in the past both for the 9/11 attacks and for the 1998 attacks that targeted the American embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

From a security point of view, the death of Al-Zawahiri it will not have significant impacts on al-Qaeda’s militant and fighting structure, but it could soon pose a new challenge, especially among the younger generation of al-Qaeda who have been kept neutral in recent years as IS fighters controlled the global jihad scene. Therefore this could represent an element of strong politics in a new phase that is coming of ideological and operational revival of al-Qaeda, following the news models of the jihadists who seek to have their own leading role in international jihad. This means that yes, the US administration can promote the assassination of Al-Zawahiri, but it should also be prepared for the repercussions that could endanger US interests, even from emerging terrorist groups.

From another perspective, the presence and connections of the al-Qaeda network in Afghanistan and its links with the Taliban will always represent a very serious obstacle in addressing the Taliban politically or even financially, in particular the issue of releasing the still frozen Afghan money. Yet the choice, timing and modalities of this operation show the desperate need of the Biden administration to achieve success in foreign policy in the field of security and counter-terrorism, through operations that could have a very high media impact. This cannot even be seen from the need for this administration to gain popular support for the midterm elections.

Surely the issue of killing the leaders of terrorist groups no longer has the same old effect, so politically this could serve for a short-term media impact, while the real factor influencing people’s choices in any election is the ability of governments. to guarantee efficient policies linked to the daily life of citizens and taxpayers, from inflation, unemployment, etc. however, when it comes to foreign policy, the elimination of a terrorist cannot be seen as a source of stability, especially since all the other policies put in place are preparing the ground for a phase of international instability long-term.

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